Treat your acute ankle pain with these 3 steps

This guide can be used to help ankle pain caused by tibialis posterior tendinopathy, also called PTTD - posterior tibialis tendon dysfunction.

Acute pain is often intense, it could involve swelling or inflammation, and likely has stopped you from doing your normal activities – use this as a guide to help your pain.

This guide can be used to help ankle pain caused by tibialis posterior tendinopathy, also called PTTD (posterior tibialis tendon dysfunction). Get into your regular training sooner than just ‘wait and see’ by monitoring and managing pain with progressive rehab exercises.

The acute phase of rehab is usually framed around providing a healing environment for the injury by:

  • With tib post tendinopathy, the painful activities are usually walking too long, standing too long or running
  • How to implement: if walking is painful, make sure to wear shoes and reduce extra walking that isn’t necesary during the day, if running is painful then reduce it to run:walk intervals or switch to a crosstraining activity like cycling or swimming for the next 1-2 weeks
  • Utilizing strategies that reduce pain by even 5% can make a huge difference when pain is occuring daily
  • Low dye taping can be a very effective strategy that you can do yourself, my advice is to only use it when necessary (such as longer walks or working) and to wean off of using it daily so as not to become reliant on it

Explanation of the acute phase of rehab for Tibialis Posterior Tendinopathy

The goal of the acute phase of rehab is not to completely stop doing all activities, we want to keep you moving while providing a healing environment.

Important considerations in the acute phase of rehab include:

  • monitoring pain and swelling – neither should be increasing during this phase
  • targeting the injured area specifically, while continuing training of the rest of the body and joints, especially maintaining full body strength and aerobic capacity
  • taking note of aggravating activities and pain fluctuations

Choosing exercises is always based on the individual in front of me when I am their physiotherapist. These exercises I provide here are general ideas and should be tailored to each person performing them and their injury.

Try these physiotherapist-chosen acute rehab exercises for tib post rehab:

  1. Wall sit and calf raise video
    Complete 10 reps
  2. Isometric push with barbell video
    Complete 3 reps with a 3s push

3. Forefoot heel hover lunge video
Complete 10 reps
4. Single leg balance video
Complete for 15s

For a full exercise rehabilitation program provided by me, a physiotherapist with athlete and musculoskeletal conditions, you can check out the Tib Post Tendon injury rehab program.

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